Kingly News

News and views from a strange, continuing journey

Archive for April, 2004

"Now if we can just direct your attention over here….."

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Here’s a thought-provoking article that bears reading whether you agree with the surface premise or not. “As Usual, the Wrong Question Is Being Asked” seems frighteningly true whether you support the war in Iraq or not. It strikes me that whatever party is in power, we keep being asked to sacrifice to fix the problems that the government caused in the name of solving some previous crisis.

Written by Donnell

April 27th, 2004 at 9:26 am

Posted in General

In What Universe Does This Make Sense?

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I was just reading an article by L. Neil Smith that got me to thinking.

He was illustrating his main point, but I want to focus on the factual illustration for a moment. It had never occurred to me to juxtapose these two well-known facts.

1) As we all know, the FAA will not let passengers carry guns on airplanes, because if a passenger were to shoot at a hijacker and miss, the bullet could puncture the fuselage and cause the plane to crash.

2) If a passenger plane is hijacked, Air Force planes may shoot it down to keep it from being used the way the planes were on Sept. 11.

Huh?

Does it occur to anyone that our government is more concerned about its citizens being armed than it is about protecting citizens from foreign threats? Or that individuals in this country are, in general, more at risk of losing their liberty to their own government than to foreign invaders?

Number 1 hasn’t been true for a long time. Ammunition that will do harm to an attacker but not puncture the side of an airplane has been available for ages. But even if it were true, wouldn’t it be better for someone in the passenger area to have a gun and chance crashing the plane than to shoot the plane down? But it would seem the government prefers the latter scenario.

I realize that if a federal air marshal is onboard, a different scenario is possible. Likely, though? Who knows?

Consider a parallel situation: Morton Grove, Ill., introduced strict gun control in their city, and the crime rate increased 500%. Kenesaw, Ga., went the other direction, requiring that all heads of household be armed and trained in the use of such arms, and their crime rate went to a statistical zero. If we had continued to develop our tradition and culture of respect for the right of self-defense, Sept. 11 could never have happened. The hijackers wouldn’t have even tried, in the first place, for the same reason that crooks generally bypass Kenesaw now. And had they been stupid enough to try anyway, the incidents would have been over in minutes.

I’m not concerned, frankly, with whether George Bush knew about the Sept. 11 attack ahead of time, because I just don’t think they knew that much. The information may have been available, but it was lost in bureaucracy. What concerns me far, far more is that any fool, including George Bush, could predict that eventually something like this had to happen, because it doesn’t take thugs long to figure out how easy it is to terrorize a nation that has allowed its own government to take away their ability to defend themselves. Not only that, but we didn’t learn anything from the experience. We have become worse. We have turned to the government and asked them to defend us, when they’ve already shown they can’t.

Face it, folks. No one will defend you the way that you can defend yourself when you take responsibility for yourself. If we each take that responsibility, we won’t have to worry about the terrorists. I read a few years ago about a robber on the run who didn’t know where he was and tried to rob a bank in Kenesaw. Six customers pulled out handguns and suggested to the frightened man that he just quietly put his piece down and wait for the cops. Lots of things about Sept. 11 make me angry, but one that makes me angriest is that our political correctness and our government put those people in a position where they were not allowed to defend themselves. And what have we done as a result? We have authorized our Air Force to shoot them down if it ever happens again. My, my, ain’t progress wonderful?

(Mr. Smith’s stuff always provokes thought. Read the actual article called Pure Poison, and then check out the rest of his site.)

Written by Donnell

April 17th, 2004 at 8:46 pm

Posted in General

Theft and Taxation

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The venerable Tibor Machan has some thoughts about The Feudal and Socialist Nature of Taxation that is well worth considering. In a way, it’s good to hear someone of his stature say that he does pay income tax, but only for the same reason he might pay off the Mafia. I’m in the same cage.

Written by Donnell

April 17th, 2004 at 5:29 pm

Posted in General

How Our Government Evolved

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Ever wonder how we got in this position? Here’s an article that provides a good bit of insight into it all. How Our Government Evolved by Brad Edmonds

Written by Donnell

April 15th, 2004 at 7:21 pm

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Winning With or Without Intimidation

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Jerome Tuccille once wrote a book entitled It Usually Begins with Ayn Rand. For me, it began with Robert J. Ringer. It was during a summer selling books door-to-door. I had consumed several positive thinking books trying to find ways to sell expensive books to mostly illiterate customers, when I happened across the best-selling Winning Through Intimidation. I thought I would learn how to manipulate people into doing what I wanted. To my initial disappointment and later delight, the book really showed how not to be intimidated by other people–equally useful for a young salemen, and far more moral in hindsight.

Over 20 years later, Bob Burg wrote what seems from the title to be the antithesis of Ringer’s book, Winning Without Intimidation : How to Master the Art of Positive Persuasion in Today’s Real World in Order to Get What You Want, When You Want It. The thing I find interesting about this juxtaposition is that both are libertarians!

I will be getting Bob’s book this month (I’ve been meaning to for a couple of years, and, well, you know, just haven’t yet). While I haven’t read it yet, I have been reading his newsletter for a couple of years, and I can tell you his ideas fit right in with practical human relationships, good communication skills, and respect for individuals. (Check Bob’s newsletter at http://www.burg.com/newsletter.html.) I think these books would make great companions: the first to show you how not to be intimidated by other people (taken with a grain of salt), and the second to show you how to get what you want by working with other people instead of manipulating them.

I recommend these mainly because intimidated or intimidating people generally are not free people. Operating out of fear, they cannot help but seek ways to control other people. Anything that goes beyond persuasion winds up being coercion, which violates the most basis tenet of libertarian philosophy and is the first step down the Road to Serfdom. You might think you become free when you rid yourself of fear; in my experience it’s the other way around. These books should help accomplish that.

Written by Donnell

April 4th, 2004 at 9:19 am

Posted in General

Reigning in eminent domain abuses

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Even USA Today recognizes government is overstepping its bounds in its use of eminent domain. This article favorably mentions the Institute for Justice, too.

Written by Donnell

April 1st, 2004 at 10:43 pm

Posted in General